Garvey Firsts keep busy during break and Seconds prepare for quarter final

With the five week break in the I.H.L. programme continuing until 6th February, Garvey have found the Nigel Cheevers Memorial tournament very helpful in keeping active.

Mark Raphael will bring experience to Lisnagarvey Seconds. Pic by Rowland White / Presseye

The competition involves Cookstown, the organisers, Banbridge and Lisnagarvey and sees each team play each other home and away over the last two weeks.

Garvey have already played Cookstown and Banbridge at home recording a 5-2 win over Cookstown and a narrow 3-2 success over Banbridge last Thursday.

The away game at Havelock Park due for last Saturday was cancelled due to snow and frost but the final match in the series is at Cookstown on Saturday at 5.00pm.

Garvey coach Errol Lutton has found the games very beneficial as he leads his team into, firstly the Irish Senior Cup quarter final against Railway Union on Saturday 30th in Dublin and then their first game in the second half of the EYHL against Monkstown also away on Saturday 6th February.

Meanwhile the focus centres on Garvey Seconds who play Cork Church of Ireland in the quarter final of the Irish Junior Cup on Saturday at Comber Road at 1.45p.m.

The Seconds have so far been unchallenged in their two earlier rounds of the cup with a 7-0 win over Mossley in the first round and a 6-1 defeat of Kilkeel in the second.

However, Cork Church of Ireland will not be making the trip to Hillsborough just to fulfil the fixture and Garvey can be assured of a contest on Saturday.

The team captained by veteran campaigner Phil Stirling has a good mixture of experience and youth and if they can continue their good form should proceed to the semi-final.

Stirling is joined by other experienced players such as Ian Davidson, Richard Bothwell, Paul Ritchie, Adam McCann and the incomparable Mark Raphael while the team is abundant with young talent in the form of goalkeeper James Milliken, defenders Mark McNellis, Joel Taggart and Johnny Beckett, midfielders Scott McCabe and Ryan Getty and goal scorers Andy O’Hare, Jacob Hermon and the Nelson brothers Matthew and Daniel.

The Seconds will need to start quickly against the Munster team if they are to make life easy for themselves but the tie will only be decided if Garvey produce a disciplined performance.